Still, there are occurrences in February that make me feel better about things, little threads to cling to while shivering in my car. The transition to spring is not a quantum event, but a slow continuum of changes. February 1st marks the first day of the year that the sun sets after 5 p.m. in my neighborhood, which is a good milestone. I can leave work and know that the sun will still be in the sky, however briefly. By the middle of the month, I'll be able to drive home after work without turning on my headlights. (This presumes that I would actually leave work at quitting time, which never happens, but let's put that aside for the nonce.) The lengthening of the days always makes me feel better.
The other thing of note that happens in the middle of the month is the opening of the baseball spring training camps. Pitchers and catchers report to the Devil Rays camp on the 14th, and the rest follow along in turn. Ball meets bat, then glove, all the time travelling over green, green grass. That's always a sure sign that spring is nigh. I can't wait.